Odissi Certificate Course



The Indian Classical Dance form of Odissi orginated more than 2500 years ago. This dance practice is unique in its ability to merge its three most defining characteristics of spirituality, sensuality and lyrical grace. Odissi dance which was initially only danced as a temple ritual is woven inticately with Indian mythology. Regular practice of this ancient dance tradition is akin to meditation and yoga where the mind, body and soul reach harmony within the practioner. Indian philosphy has always seen the sensual in light of the spiritual and Odissi is the most beautiful place where this philosophy is envisioned. The line and form of Odissi is curvi-linear and very graceful. This along with the undulating torso movements, emphasis on feminity and the space to melt into each movement make Odissi a highly sensual dance practice. Odissi music along with poetry and the dance it accompanies makes each Odissi dance an experience of unsurpassed lyrical beauty.


Ashwini Raghupathy has over a decade of training and practice in Odissi. She was trained by Guru Uday Kumar Shetty and at Nrityagram by Guru Bijayini Satpathy and Guru Surupa Sen. She is the director of ARPANA an Odissi academy based in Bangalore.

Ashwini is known for her depth in understanding of Odissi technique.  Her classes focus on clarity and creativity in helping her students develop a deep relationship with the dance form. Her love for Odissi is witnessed in every single class that she teaches. She has been transformed on a personal level by the practice of Odissi, from being scattered in many directions Odissi brought focus and clarity in her life. On a physical level the practice of Odissi has helped her become strong and supple. More importantly on a subtler level Odissi has helped her build a beautiful relationship with herself and thereby with everything she comes in contact with. She would now like to share the nuances of this ancient wisdom and would like to reach out to other people who can benefit from the same.

The syllabus

Basic: 60 Hours

  • Soundless Exercises: 9 exercises to build strength in the lower body essential for Odissi.
  • Sound Exercises: 5 to build stamina and lightness in the dancer
  • Asamyukta Hastas: 28 Single hand gestures
  • Samyukta Hastas: 23 co-joined gestures
  • Pada Bhedas: 32 feet positions
  • Greeva Bhedas: 4 Neck movements according to Abhinaya Darpana
  • Shiro Bhedas: 9 Head movements according to Abhinaya Darpana
  • Drishti Bhedas: 8 Eye movements according to Abhinaya Darpana
  • Odissi Basic Positions: 4 Basic Odissi Positions
  • Introduction to Tala: Ek Taal in Odissi (4 speeds)
  • Torso Movements: Full range of Torso Movements
  • Chowka : 1- 10 steppings (3 speeds)
  • Tribhangi: 1- 10 steppings(3 speeds)
  • Brahmaris: Turns:Chowka Ekapada Brahmari/ Tribhangi Ekapada Brahmari
  • Charis: Walks:Chalana Chari 3 speeds.
  • Utplavana: Jumps: Alaga Utplavana
  • Prayers/Shlokas

Intermediate:  40 hours

  • Chowka Arasa: the first Odissi sentence in chowka stance
  • Tribhangi Arasa: the first Odissi sentence in thribhangi stance
  • Namami: the invocatory dance item or managalacharan danced for the deity Ganesha
  • Sthai: meaning ‘base’ is the first piece which brings together Odissi technique comphrehensively
  • Batu: strings together temple sculptures into movement. Batu is dedicated to the deity Shiva.
  • Vasanta Pallavi: pallavis are dance pieces that are based on specific ragas, as the flower blooms, a pallavi opens its petals one by one to explore a given raga. This piece is based on the vasanta raga.

For further details contact Ashwini Raghupathy on 99011-59106 or email ashwini.arpan@gmail.com





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